Township board OKs clerical union contract

FLINT TWP. — The Board of Trustees remains divided over two percent raises offered in employee contracts.

Trustees Belenda Parker and Barb Vert remain steadfast in their opposition to wage increases negotiated with the township’s labor unions but were outvoted 5-2 in the board’s contract approvals.

So far agreements have been settled with two of the township’s six labor unions.. Last month, the board settled a contract with the Police Department Communications Operators – Teamsters Local 214, that included hourly pay increases.

More recently, at its December 7 meeting, the board finalized a three-year collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME Local 1918-01 – the clerical union. Terms for the agreement, effective January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018 include a two percent wage increase for each year of the contract.

It also provides that health, dental and vision insurance will remain the same as in the current contract but subject to annual review and revision.

Trustee Parker said she had no problem with the terms of the contract other than the timing of the raises. She and Vert have consistently voted against employee raises since residents approved a Public Safety Millage in November 2014 that significantly reduced a squeeze on township finances.

Trustee Vert, who with Parker, also voted against the township’s two-year general budget, cited employee wage increases as one reason for her objection, especially on the heels of employee raises and signing bonuses approved last year. Township Supervisor Karyn Miller has said that the board still is negotiating with four other unions but that raises of two percent or more are being sought. Contracts with police and fire unions have yet to be finalized but likely will be presented at the township board’s Dec. 21 meeting, which is its final regularly scheduled meeting for this year.

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